This was our second visit to the cliffs at Bempton on the Yorkshire coast. Famous mainly for its huge sea bird colony of Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Puffins. However, there is more to the cliffs at this time of the year as we found out, if you step back from the cliff top footpath. In the meadows and  hedgerows that lead down to the cliffs a number of our summer visitors were showing well as they were making claim to their territories.

Jackdaw at RSPB Bempton Cliffs


Linnets at RSPB Bempton Ciffs


Corn Bunting at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Corn Bunting

Whitethroat at RSPB Bempton Cliffs


Tree Sparrow at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Tree Sparrow

Also their were reports of a Barn owl hunting over the rough meadow. On a visit one evening we found out it was in fact a pair nesting and feeding chicks, possibly in an old second world war building on the cliff tops.

Barn Owl hunting at Bempton

Barn Owl out hunting

Barn Owl hunting at Bempton Cliffs

Barn Owl Beauty /span>

As on our previous visit  it was interesting to watch the behaviour of the Gannets, some still nest building, flying in with beaks full of material  and presenting it to their mate. Whilst others stretched their necks and clicked  beaks against each other as they performed their elaborate greeting ceremony. Great opportunities to get shots of them both in fight and on the cliffs.

Gannet Landing at Bempton Cliffs

Under Carriage Down

Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Gannet portrait

Gannet at Yorkshires Bempton

Gannet nesting

Gannets at Bempton

Gannets Nesting on Cliffs ledge

Gannet nest building at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Nest building

Gannets Greeting Display at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Gannets Greeting

Gannet Bonding Display at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Bonding Display

Gannet in flight at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Gannet in flight

Immature Gannet in flight at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Immature Gannet in flight

Puffins,Guillemots & Razorbills

The number of Puffins seem to be down from our previous visit. This may be a sign that the food supply in this area of the North Sea is suffering.  But on a closer inspection of one section of the cliff we did find a number of Puffins on the ledges and in the rock crevices.

Puffin at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Puffin just below the Grandstand viewpoint

Puffin at Bempton

Puffin at Jubilee Corner

Razorbill at Bempton

Razorbill at Jubilee Corner

They were using these instead of the more traditional burrows, a behaviour that the Puffins have adopted here. One of the crevices which seem to be home to a number of adults also contained a well developed chick. The Razorbills and Guillemot population are obviously not suffering as they seemed to be everywhere fighting for every available ledge.


Razorbill Greeting

Razorbill at Grandstand viewpoint RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Razorbill at Grandstand viewpoint

Guillemot at Bartlett Nab RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Guillemot at Bartlett Nab

Kittiwake at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Kittiwake nesting on the Cliffs

Herring Gull at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Herring Gull

Razorbillls at RSPB Bempton Cliff


Bempton Cliffs definitely an excellent place to visit and an almost guaranteed opportunity to capture some first class images of a mainland sea bird colony. As well as birds in flight.